Visit France's Most Beautiful Village, Gassin, in the south of France.
France

Escape to the Most Beautiful Village of Gassin

Are you wanting to escape to a quiet village, but still be very close to a popular beach destination in the south of France? Then you need to consider Gassin. This scenic village is situated in the middle of the Saint Tropez peninsula, perched high up on a rock, and is less than 4 km from the sea and 8 km to Saint-Tropez. It showcases old winding streets and ancient houses brimming with beautiful flowers. But it’s the panoramic views that make this place incredibly special. Let me share why you need to escape to this most beautiful village. 

Panoramic views

The panoramic views from one of France's Most Beautiful Villages, Gassin. This hilltop village is close to Saint Tropez

From this rocky summit, at an altitude of 200 metres, you will have magnificent views of the coastline of the Gulf of St. Tropez, including the towns of La Croix, Valmer, Grimaud, St. Maxime and Les Issambres. In the other direction, you will have views of Iles D’Or over to the Maures mountains and all the way to the snowy peaks of the Alps. 

Visit Gassin, declared a Most Beautiful Village, in the south of France close to Saint Tropez

When you immediately arrive to the village it starts with the main parking area, as this is a walkable village only. It is here you will find the magnificent sea views. There is a bit of a lookout point, and it’s the best spot to watch the sunrise. Locals and tourists alike start their day here watching the sunrise. You won’t be alone, but don’t worry, you will be mesmerized by the epic views. 

Visit Gassin, declared a Most Beautiful Village, in the south of France close to Saint Tropez

Along the terraced wall, the Promenade Dei Barri, is where you will find the villages’ restaurants, all of which have large outdoor terraces to look out onto those beautiful panoramic views.

Most Beautiful Village in France

The beautiful hilltop village of Gassin. Minutes from Saint Tropez in the south of France

Gassin is known as Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, or the Most Beautiful Village in France. There are about 150 villages that hold this prestigious title, and Gassin is deservedly one of those. To be considered Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, the village needs to be a maximum population size of 2,000 inhabitants and have at least 2 monuments of historical significance, and yes of course, be beautiful. 

Did you know that the department of Vaucluse in the heart of Provence has the greatest number of these villages? Less than 2 hours from Gassin, there are has 7 of these villages all in close proximity to each other.

Significant sights

The beautiful hilltop village of Gassin. Minutes from Saint Tropez in the south of France

History tells us that Gassin became a fortified village at the end of the 15th century, but experienced most of its development in the second half of the 19th century when it more than doubled in size.

The key monuments and points of interest in Gassin are:

  • the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption chapel, built at the end of the 11th century (rebuilt in 16th century), houses statues of the Madonna and Child and Christ (17th century) and an 18th century bell
  • the Town Hall of Gassin, built in 1584
  • the Romanesque chapel of Our Lady of Consolation is in the midst of a wooded area, served as parish until the mid-16th century
  • the oldest art gallery in the area, Galerie deï Barri
  • a botanical garden, L’Hardy-Denonain, showcases plants native to Provence, as well as black Lilies
  • the smallest street in the world, the Androuno, measures only 29 centimeters wide at its narrowest level
The beautiful hilltop village of Gassin. Minutes from Saint Tropez in the south of France
L'Androuno, the smallest street in the world
The beautiful hilltop village of Gassin. Minutes from Saint Tropez in the south of France
Measuring at only 29 cm wide

The streets in Gassin

As up start to wander, you will notice that the names of the streets are symbols that reflect the history of this village. The Passage of the Watchtower, the door of Saracens, the Rue du Fort, the Passage of the Knights Templar are all references to village’s past. Meander through the maze of the winding streets, knowing you can never really get lost. Only if you count getting lost in its sheer beauty. 

The beautiful hilltop village of Gassin. Minutes from Saint Tropez in the south of France
The beautiful hilltop village of Gassin. Minutes from Saint Tropez in the south of France

The ancient homes in Gassin

Gassin is just one of those hilltop villages in France that you daydream about living there one day. It’s a village where more locals live, than tourists can stay. 

Most of the historic buildings are built in serpentine or basalt from the local quarries. As well from the doors to the shutters, or even the stucco buildings – it’s a kaleidoscope of pretty pastel colours. Creamy whites, pale yellows, and soft pinks, oranges and blues all blended together. 

The beautiful hilltop village of Gassin. Minutes from Saint Tropez in the south of France
The beautiful hilltop village of Gassin. Minutes from Saint Tropez in the south of France

Recommended stay

Perfect for a solo traveller or a couple’s stay, this modern loft is absolutely perfect. The industrial-styled apartment sits above a luxury interior design shop and features some very cool pieces throughout this small space. Aside from the décor being magazine worthy, it’s the terrace and the views that truly make this the place to stay when in Gassin. 

Click here to book your stay. 

As a holidaymaker…

Escape to Gassin. It was perfect on all levels – the village itself, the apartment, the scenic views, the food, and a day trip to Saint Tropez. One of the best parts of travelling, is the memories we hold, and staying in Gassin is definitely one of those perfect memories. 

Visit Gassin, France. Considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in France. Close to Saint Tropez. #Gassin #France
Visit Gassin, France. Considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in France. Close to Saint Tropez. #Gassin #France

Disclosure:  As an Booking.com Affiliate Partner, if you click on the link contained in this post, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to book. 

24 Comments

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thanks so much Julia! I am glad that the post inspired you to add Gassin as a future destination. Let me know if I can help with any future planning.

  • Tom

    I’m afraid that being 4km or so from the sea will put many people off from visiting, but that seems a good distance to escape the seaside-seeking crowds. I love Euro stone villages, and I bet most anyone does. Staying in an apartment as you did has huge advantages, mainly things like a fridge and the ability to hit the local markets and prepare the food on your own. I like your mentality of getting just a bit away from the hot spots.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      This is ideal for someone who wants to stay in a small, quiet, picturesque village, with only a 5 – 10 minute drive to some of those famous Saint Tropez beaches. Thanks for commenting.

  • Christina

    Gassing looks like a page/scene from Beauty and the Beast!!! I can see why it is the most beautiful village in France. I love the cobblestone buildings and street – it so cute! And wow those views are incredible. I will keep this in mind for our second trip back to France as we want to explore more cities in the countryside of France.

  • Cynthia

    It looks so picturesque and sounds like a wonderful place for a peaceful retreat. I’d love to see the botanical garden and the black lilies!

    • The.Holidaymaker

      It was indeed Cynthia, it was a peaceful retreat. The botanical garden was lovely to see.

  • Michael Hodgson

    So many amazingly picturesque villages in France, like Gassin, just waiting to be explored. I love your photos of the doors! Sharing this post with Therese who loves spending time in various places in France for intensitve French courses … this might be a fun place for her to immerse.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you so much for your kind compliments Michael. Indeed it would be the perfect place to immerse yourself. It is indeed very quiet, so it was perfect for a night or two.

  • Darah

    Gassin seems like such a tranquil and lovely village. I could also meander those beautiful streets and appreciate the antique doors. All the history this little village has to offer seems like a nice surprise. Thanks for pointing out the significant places; there are many and they’re so old! The view from your loft is so pretty as well. What a great trip this must have been.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Yes, indeed it is. I am glad you liked it and hope it inspired your future travel plans.

  • Punita Malhotra

    Pretty as a picture! We visited some of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France and each of them was a dream. The views are heavenly, aren’t they? Must be peaceful with just 2000 residents.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Yes, it is. We visited many Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, and this was one of our favourites in this area. The views were wonderful, some of the best sunsets and sunrises. Thanks for reading the post!

  • The Travel Bunny

    Might go t the South of France at the end of April (or, worst case scenario — if there can be a worst case scenario when talking about the South of France– in summer). I’ll keep this in mind for when we go exploring 🙂

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Great, I am glad it inspired you to put it on your list. I have other posts about the south of France if you are interested in checking them out. Happy travels!

  • Chris Behrsin

    I lived in this part of the world for a while, but somehow I never came across Gassin. And now I read your post about it, I really want to weave my way through that tiny street and explore those historical sites. A fantastic post, thanks for sharing.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you so much Chris, I am glad it inspired you to perhaps check it out in the future. When you are next in Saint Tropez area, it would be a quick detour, trust me.

  • Erica

    There is something so innately magical about the south of France. I´ve never heard of Gassin before, but these photos make it look absolutely stunning. It´s one of my favourite corners of Europe and there are so many hidden gems for a romantic and independent escape.

  • Alison

    France’s most beautiful villages are so unique and tranquil. As you discovered, Gassin seems like the perfect getaway but not too far from some action if you are looking for it ( the beach!)). Will have to remember that wonderful place you stayed with the view. Sounds like one of France’s “not to be missed” towns.

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